SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Already known as a top school nationally, the University of Utah School of Medicine is moving to new heights.
It’s all thanks to a landmark, multi-million dollar donation from the Eccles family to the school that is bringing up the next generation of healthcare providers.
Ayesha Patil and Jeff Last are two of them.
For Last, it’s a family affair.
“I’ve decided to follow in my grandpa’s footsteps and do anesthesia from the get-go. I’d love to practice in St. George,” said Last, a fourth-year medical student.
As Last looks to the future, so is the school where he is being trained.
And, that future is brighter because of a new $110 million donation from the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles, and the Nora Eccles Treadwell foundations.
“Where I think this wonderful gift and this endowment takes us is to a higher degree of national distinction and national recognition,” said Michael Good, M.D. and interim president of the university.
The amount of the donation represents an Eccles family motto, to always give 110%.
Spencer F. Eccles says it’s served him well in life. And, he never got distracted from it even when, as a young man, a professor told him it wasn’t possible.
“And I said, well I say it, and that’s how I do it and that’s what the facts are, 110%. Now, did you have any other questions? And, that’s the way it stuck,” said Eccles, chairman and CEO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.
Eccles says this donation will have a transformational impact.
Among other things, it will fund scholarships, increased research capabilities, and a new state-of-the-art building that will bear the name Spencer Fox Eccles.
The benefits are huge for the School of Medicine and beyond.
“They then take that from this place, this hill, and they take it out across the state. To every corner, to every family, every person that has a sick child, an elderly parent, has a chronic condition,” said Katie Eccles, vice chair of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation.
And, it all starts with helping students realize their dreams.
“He knows, and he has told us often that education is the key to success, and he so wants to give opportunity to young people,” Lisa Eccles, president and COO of the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.
Just like Patil, who has a strong vision of her next chapter.
“My ultimate goals are to practice global health and ophthalmology, and I was originally attracted to that specialty because it has a really good mixture of preventative eye care as well as surgical solutions,” said Patil, a fourth-year medical student.
This donation comes full circle for the Eccles legacy at the U.
Fifty years ago the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library was the first significant project to be funded by the family.